Fans outraged at “disgusting piece of cricket” in Canada vs USA T20


Canada’s women beat the USA in a T20 cricket international last week, but only after their top run-scorer survived a highly controversial moment early in her innings

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The ‘spirit of cricket’ was brought into question during Canada’s controversial win over the USA in an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers last week.

It was a game Canada won by just seven runs, after a knock of 40 from opener Divya Saxena helped them to a total of 85, with the USA falling short in their reply.

However, whether Saxena’s innings should have lasted longer than a single ball is open to debate, after the 28-year-old instigated a highly controversial moment later described as “a disgusting piece of cricket.”

The incident occurred in the first over at the Reforma Athletic Club in Mexico, with American seamer Sara Farooq conceding just a single from her first three balls before getting the chance to bowl at Saxena.

Saxena sees her top edge has gone straight up in the air


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Farooq’s short delivery was then mis-hit by Saxena straight up into the air, and a dismissal seemed inevitable as bowler, wicketkeeper, and two close-in fielders scrambled to claim a seemingly simple catch.

The Calgary all-rounder had other ideas though, appearing to dash off the square towards where her skied shot was landing, and disrupting the would-be catchers before turning and dashing back to the stumps.

Incredibly, the umpires opted not to take any action, seemingly ignoring Law 37.3 which states a batter is out obstructing the field if “wilful obstruction or distraction by either batter prevents the striker being out caught.”

Footage of the incident was posted online by cricket writer Peter Penna, and fans were left baffled as to how Saxena got away scot-free.

@whamzam17 wrote “You can’t spell devious without Divya… That is a disgusting piece of cricket!” while umpire @carelsmit1974 added “Absolutely shocking. As an umpire I would have had no doubt in my mind and regardless of what kind of appeal would have given her out. International level umpires getting that wrong is ridiculous.”

Della himself questioned the judgement of standing umpire, Nigel Duguid, a veteran of 82 internationals, including five Test matches.

Saxena gets between the fielders before dashing back to her crease


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Some high-profile figures however, were more amused than they were angered.

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham tweeted: “I know it’s less than ideal and blatant cheating but it’s still pretty funny,” while cricket commentator Melinda Farrell said of the footage “Ok this is wild.”

A batter being given out for obstructing the field is a rare occurrence in cricket, with Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka dismissal against the West Indies in March the most recent example at international level.

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